I recently was interviewed for an upcoming article on Amazon Prime Video’s upcoming “Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power” series. While discussing with the writer through how it might be marketed, I realized it could end up being *the* global streaming event of our lifetimes.
Amazon’s scale is extraordinary and lies well beyond its more than 200MM Prime subscribers and 300MM active customer accounts globally. Amazon Prime Video is in more than 180 countries worldwide, excluding Mainland China, Iran, North Korea, and Syria. It also owns Twitch, which has 31MM average daily visitors (as of December 2021), and it has 120 million monthly active users across Twitch, FreeVee and its other ad-supported properties. Amazon also sells its proprietary Fire TV devices, of which it has sold 150MM worldwide.
“The Lord of the Rings” has been translated into more than languages and sold more than 150MM copies worldwide. “The Lord of the Rings” trilogy and “The Hobbit” trilogy each grossed ~$2.9B worldwide in theaters over the past two decades.
In short, there is enormous built-in, global demand for “Lord of the Rings”-related IP, and there is a reasonable argument to be made that, excluding China, Amazon has the scale and capabilities to reach most of the 8B people worldwide.
Fairly or unfairly, Amazon’s success with “The Rings of Power” will ultimately reflect how its model is solving for important, often thorny, problems in streaming that are existential pain points for its streaming competition.
The basics of Amazon’s business have always been straightforward to understand (Retail, AWS, Advertising), but the basics of Prime Video have always been a bit of a mystery because Amazon tends not to discuss them. It is worth briefly recapping what we know to ...